There's a stereotype of the big, strong man that makes some men think it's perfectly fine to be overweight. However, excess weight increases your risk of a multitude of different conditions -- some of which we've already mentioned -- like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Your weight isn't the only number to be aware of, however. You should also find out your BMI, or body mass index. This number also takes your height into account to come up with a range; somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9 is generally considered normal. There's some controversy surrounding the idea of the BMI as the most important factor when assessing weight-related risks, but it's a good place to start.
If you have a "beer belly" (also known as abdominal or central obesity and not actually caused by beer drinking), you're more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than if your surplus weight were more uniformly distributed. Doctors may determine this by calculating your waist-to-hip ratio (dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips). If it's greater than 0.9, it's time to lose weight.
But don't be discouraged: Losing just 5 percent of your total body weight can significantly lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, which, in turn, decreases your risk of disease [source: CDC].